Visual search in unilateral spatial neglect: The effects of distractors on a dynamic visual search task

Rebeca Lauren Emerson, Alberto García-Molina, Jaume López Carballo, Juan García Fernández, Celeste Aparicio-López, Junquera Novo, Rocío Sánchez-Carrión, Antonia Enseñat-Cantallops, Jordi Peña-Casanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

3 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. The objective of this study was to examine visual scanning performance in patients with Unilateral Spatial Neglect (USN) in a visual search task. Thirty-one right hemisphere stroke patients with USN were recruited. They performed a dynamic visual search task with two conditions, with and without distractors, while eye movements were monitored with an eye-tracker. The main goal of the task was to select target stimuli that appeared from the top of the screen and moved vertically downward. Target detection and visual scanning percentage were assessed over two hemispaces (right, left) on two conditions (distractor, no distractor). Most Scanned Regions (MSR) were calculated to analyze the areas of the screen where most points of fixation were directed to. Higher target detection rate and visual scanning percentages were found on the right hemispace on both conditions. From the MSRs we found that participants with a center of attention further to the right of the screen also presented smaller overall MSRs. Right hemisphere stroke patients with USN presented not only a significant rightward bias but reduced overall search areas, implying hyperattention does not only restrict search on the horizontal (right-left) axis but the vertical axis (top-bottom) too.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-410
JournalApplied neuropsychology. Adult
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Distractors
  • eye movements
  • unilateral spatial neglect
  • visual attention
  • visual search task


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